Bournemouth University cuts extinguisher maintenance costs

bournemouth-universitySafelincs has installed several hundred P50 service-free extinguishers at Bournemouth University’s campus in Poole. The new appliances replace units that required annual servicing by an external maintenance company. P50s are corrosion-proof and do not require maintenance by an extinguisher engineer or a discharge test over their entire 10 year lifespan. Instead, they only require an annual visual inspection which can be carried out by the university’s staff.

After 10 years the extinguishers can be factory-refurbished for another decade of service-free life. (At the end of their life they are recyclable). Manufactured in the UK, the extinguishers are Kitemarked by BSI to EN3.

Included in the purchase price of the extinguishers is a site survey, the installation and certification of the P50s and a concise training session for the staff members that will be carrying out the annual visual inspection. Brackets and signage are, of course, also included.

“Whilst the P50s are more expensive than standard extinguishers, significant savings will be made due to us not having to bring in external engineers,” explained Rick White, Maintenance Services Manager at Bournemouth University.

“The annual check is very straightforward and can be undertaken by our own people. All the administrative hassles of booking external maintenance are a thing of the past.”

If your organisation would like to benefit from this cost saving solution, please contact Safelincs on 0800 612 6537 or email support@safelincs.co.uk and we will advise you about the best solution for your organisation.

Charity benefits from switching to service-free extinguishers

p50-foam-and-powderWith homes and flats across London, Hertfordshire and Berkshire, leading Jewish charity Norwood gives adults with learning disabilities the support they need to choose where they live. In each property, housing support is available according to each person’s needs; they can choose between sharing a house with 3-6 people, sharing a flat or living on their own.

Norwood has to ensure that all its properties have adequate measures in place for safeguarding in the case of fire. This includes the provision of fire extinguishers which have to be serviced annually – at considerable cost.

Norwood became aware of the service-free P50 extinguishers which are constructed using a composite material that will not rust or corrode. They do not need servicing, as a simple annual check, which can be carried out by a member of Norwood’s own staff, is all that is required. There is also no refill required after 5 years – P50s only need refilling after 10 years.

Safelincs have so far provided around 100 of the P50 extinguishers (mostly foam) to Norwood and is rolling out a replacement program across most of the properties. Unlike most foam extinguishers, P50s contains a type of foam that is also safe to use on most electrical fires. Therefore they can be used on multiple fire types; the risk of Norwood staff or residents, although trained, using the wrong type of extinguisher, has been eliminated.

Although P50s are slightly more expensive than conventional extinguishers, Norwood benefits from massive savings by not having to call in service engineers each year. After ten years the units can be refurbished and used in exactly the same way for a further ten years.

“Safelincs took care of everything,” explains John Gregory, Facilities Manager at Norwood. “The price includes a site survey, installation, ID sign, a bracket and certification. The engineer also carried out some quick training to show staff how to look after the extinguishers. And if anybody new joins, Safelincs has provided us with DVDs of the inspection process to keep all of our staff informed.”

Extinguisher run over by van – still pressurised!

We were always convinced that our P50 service free extinguishers made from a Kevlar-type aramid were almost in-destructable. Nevertheless, when one of our engineers was visiting one of our customers, a refinery on the east coast, he was surprised when he was handed a fire extinguisher that had been run over by a van and that it was still fully pressurised!

crushed-p50-1crushed-p50-2crushed-p50-3

This is not that surprising when you know that 1 in 500 of these extinguishers are tested by pressurising them 12,000 times from zero bar to 25 bar. And after they have undergone this harsh test, they are crushed flat by a steel blade before being re-inflated without being allowed to leak at 55 bar!

The P50 service free extinguisher is suitable for the harshest of environments, including outdoors.

Two Innovative Fire Extinguishers – A Clear Case of Horses for Courses

Safelincs is very happy to be leading the way by supplying two innovative types of fire extinguisher – the Jewel Water Mist Extinguisher and the Fireworld P50. Both are attracting attention from those with an interest in fire safety. But what are the considerations when deciding which type to buy?

Here we examine the benefits of each type of extinguisher and consider where they might best be utilised.

Water mist

Water mist extinguishers (also called E-series or ‘dry’ water mist extinguishers) have a supersonic nozzle that disperses microscopic ‘dry’ water mist particles to suppress fires and extinguish burning materials quickly and easily. The nature of these particles means that they can be used on just about every type of fire, including fat fires. The ‘dry’ mist is 100% environmentally friendly as it is just de-ionised water. There are no nasty fumes or residue to deal with – it is a clean way of tackling a fire – and the water mist also protects the user from heat.

water-mist-fire-extinguisherThe speed at which the water mist smothers the fire, as demonstrated in this video, is very impressive. The fine mist also suppresses and minimises the acrid smoke generated by the fire.

The water mist extinguisher is proving popular in hotel and restaurant kitchens where even a deep fat fryer fire can be quickly dealt with. But what makes it so appealing is that there are no fumes or residue to clear up. Using a powder or foam extinguisher, even on a minor fire would leave a lot of mess.

This would mean throwing away any food in the vicinity and maybe even having to temporarily close the kitchen, causing inconvenience and loss of revenue.

In a recent hotel fire, a croissant placed in a toaster designed for bread caused a fire to break out. The water mist extinguisher quickly put out the fire and, after it had been inspected and PAT tested, the toaster was put back into service.

The lack of residue also makes these extinguishers popular in museums and heritage buildings. Very often, when fires occur, the process of extinguishing them can cause more damage than the fire itself. In an environment where valuable paintings or artefacts are present the opportunity to install an extinguisher that will minimise residual damage is attractive.

The one litre version is fast becoming a favourite for use in the home. The water mist extinguisher will cope with any likely domestic fire and there are no residual fumes that would harm children.

Fireworld P50

Where fire extinguishers are installed there is a requirement to have them serviced annually by a qualified engineer – an expensive business.

med-approved-p50-fire-extinguisherBut this is where the Britannia Fireworld P50 comes into its own. It has been designed so that it requires only an annual inspection which can easily be carried out by a member of staff. (There’s even a demonstration video on the Safelincs website). Unlike most extinguishers it does not need refilling after five years. And the P50 is guaranteed for ten years, after which time it can be refilled and used for a further ten years.

So, after the initial outlay, there are no costs for the next ten years

The Fireworld P50 comes in foam and powder versions so any organisation currently using these types of extinguisher has the opportunity to switch and drastically reduce their bills.

Safelincs is the Church of England’s chosen fire safety provider and recently installed eight P50s at St Margaret’s Church in Warnham. Previously St Margaret’s was paying between £500 and £749 per year for its extinguisher maintenance but will now not have to pay a penny for ten years.

The other significant advantage of the P50 lies in its construction. The main body is a strong composite plastic which is reinforced with the material from which bullet proof vests are made. The metal fittings are brass which means that there is nothing in the extinguisher’s make-up that will rust or corrode.

Hence the extinguisher is ideal for outdoor use or anywhere that might be subject to moisture such as farms, swimming pools, oil rigs, wind farms, garage forecourts, railway stations and building sites. And it is very tough and won’t dent in the way that metal extinguishers would.

P50 also finds favour with environmentalists, both for it being 100% recyclable when it reaches the end of its life and for the reduction in miles travelled by engineers.

Help is at hand

At Safelincs we believe that both these types of extinguisher offer significant advantages. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss further the merits of each extinguisher to help you decide which is best for you.

Fire extinguisher Lug and J brackets

It is a British Standard requirement that fire extinguishers are either wall hung or placed on a stand.  This is to ensure that fire extinguishers are kept in the correct location and to deter unauthorized movement.  There are two main types of brackets to suit most fire extinguishers; Lug and J brackets.

Lug brackets are specifically designed for CO2 fire extinguishers. They are shaped similarly to a letter “L” with a slight lip for the extinguisher to hook on to.  Usually, portable CO2 fire extinguishers are available in 2kg and 5kg sizes, of which the lug bracket for the 5kg CO2 fire extinguisher tends to be larger than the bracket for the 2kg CO2 fire extinguisher.  This is to accommodate the difference in cylinder size. We also offer aluminium and plastic wall brackets for anti-magnetic CO2 fire extinguishers used near sensitive scanning equipment in hospitals.

J brackets are suitable for most makes of powder, water and foam fire extinguishers.  Units are hooked on to the J bracket by a loop that is typically found on the back of the extinguisher cylinder.  Both Lug and J brackets are available in our extinguisher bracket section and are sold in packs of 20.

Fire extinguisher gauge tester

In our short series of introductions to fire extinguisher servicing tools we are featuring the fire extinguisher pump gauge tester which is used by engineers to make sure that the pressure gauge of stored pressure fire extinguishers is operating correctly and is not stuck.  In normal operation the needle of the gauge is held in place by the pressure behind the gauge.  When the pressure is adjusted e.g. the extinguisher is discharged, the needle moves accordingly.  The gauge tester is needed by engineers to make sure that the needle is free-moving and has not seized up over time.  The test is carried out by removing a small sticker located on the extinguisher gauge covering a small hole.  if the hole does not exist yet, a small hole is drilled by the engineer. The pump is placed over the hole and actioned. This changes the pressure in the gauge housing and the needle moves. If the needle does not move, the gauge has seized up and must be changed. At the end of a test a new sticker is placed over the hole. The colour of the sticker indicates the year of the test.

Nitrogen regulator and hose

Many companies service their own fire extinguishers. They have trained a staff member through one of the UK’s extinguisher servicing training bodies and purchase their maintenance tools through Safelincs. In a series of blogs we present these tools to our readers and customers.

The nitrogen regulator and hose is an essential piece of equipment used by servicing engineers on stored pressure fire extinguishers.  When used with the correct adapter or recharge bar (matching the fire extinguisher make), the fire extinguisher can then be connected to a nitrogen gas bottle.  This allows for the fire extinguisher to be re-pressurised.

Safelincs offer a nitrogen regulator and hose with a working pressure of 20bar (300psi).  It also features a ¼” female quick-fit connector.  The regulator and all other equipment required for refilling and servicing fire extinguishers can be found in the tools and spares section of our website.

Fire extinguisher adapter set

It is important for extinguisher engineers to have the correct tools needed for re-pressurising fire extinguishers.  Part of the required equipment includes a set of adapters suited for various fire extinguisher makes and models.  These adapters have a male quick-fit connector which allows for the engineer to connect the extinguisher to a nitrogen regulator and hose ready for pressurising.

The nitrogen regulator and hoseAn 11 piece fire extinguisher adapter set is available for purchase from the Safelincs website.

The kit includes:

  • 3/8″ Roberts adapter
  • 1/4″ Roberts Taper adapter
  • Kiddethorn adapter
  • Small Amerex adapter
  • Large Amerex adapter
  • 1/8″ Male adapter
  • 14mm FPS/Firemark adapter
  • 1/4″ Firechief/Firepower/Optimax/Pyrene/Allied adapter
  • Schraeder adapter, Schraeder valve, Schreader valve cleaning tool

 

10 year self-maintenance extinguisher accepted by Boat Safety Scheme

Boat owners need to protect themselves and their property from fire just as any other home owner does. The damp conditions sometimes found with boating has always been an issue with regards to which fire extinguisher to install on your boat. Now with the official acceptance of the Fireworld P50 self-maintenance extinguisher by the Boat Safety Scheme this dilemma  finally has an answer.

The Fireworld P50 extinguishers, manufactured by Britannia, are non-corrosive. This makes them ideal for wet and damp conditions. They carry a 10 year guarantee and the tough plastic outer shell and inner Kevlar core, which is the same material as bullet proof vests, makes them durable and light weight.

There is another added benefit of installing the Fireworld fire extinguishers on your boat; they do not need to be serviced by an engineer. There is a yearly check that must be carried out but this can be carried out by yourself.  You will no longer have to arrange for a service engineer to come and service your extinguishers, which can be both costly and inconvenient.

If you are interested in finding out more about the corrosive-free self-maintenance fire extinguishers please go to https://www.safelincs.co.uk/britannia-fireworld-self-maintenance-fire-extinguishers/ or call our customer care team on 0800 612 6537

Mark Webber chooses high-tech fire extinguishers

F1 racing driver Mark Webber takes the lead in fire safety technology by equipping his home with Fireworld extinguishers.

Fireworld extinguishers are made of composite plastics, including Kevlar, usually associated with bullet-proof vests, and last a full ten years without any refill – and without a single extinguisher maintenance visit! The extinguishers are tested under extreme circumstances – they are pressurised 12000 times to 25 bar before being flattened by a steel blade. After this gruelling treatment they are pressurised to 55 bar without being allowed to leak! These extinguishers are helping our customers to save costs and help the environment – They can be refurbished after 10 years and are then guaranteed again for another 10 years. Over their lifetime, they save around 18 call-outs and two refills!

Mark Webber stated: ‘In my line of business we don’t leave safety to chance.  Protecting my home and those in it is very important to me and I also value privacy.  The Fireworld extinguishers provide this peace of mind as they have a 10 year guarantee and don’t require annual servicing.’